An Easter Message

No! I’m not going to discuss that ridiculous Trump person. What with him wielding his power crazed baton, the future is screwed, the future is orange. And, his wotsit finger poised over the big red button; poking his small weapon at North Korea, dropping £22 million pound bombs and riling up his ‘allies’ (I’m not sure he has any left) with his administration insinuating that the ‘Holocaust never happened,’ I think it’s time to close our eyes and think happy fluffy thoughts this Easter. After all, 2000 years ago major conflict was also kicking off. Same triggers: immigration, war, religious and cultural conflict and power crazed dictators all vying for top spot. Therefore, without dissecting the Easter story, I think (religious or not) that it’s worth considering the symbolism of Jesus dying on the cross and his resurrection two days later: after tragedy follows hope. Positivity is the name of the game.

The new mantra is:

Don’t think too much, just do what makes you happy.

I recently stumbled across this quotation and decided it was very good advice indeed. Especially when your monthly expenditure could support a small African nation out of poverty. You see, I have to laugh or I’d cry…’Buy a project, do it up, it’ll be fun,’ (that reminds me of that Boyzone? Song ‘find a girl, settle down’ – please correct if wrong) we both said. So we did. And yes, it is fun. Highly exciting is the fact that in the past month my house and garden are becoming presentable, in some aspects unrecognisable and certainly more modern. But what is the price I pay?

Well, firstly it’s the mess. When I say mess I don’t mean the children treating the house like a rubbish dump and hotel come food bank facilty (it’s the holidays, I’ve spent more time in Morrisons and being the unpaid skivvy ‘get me back to work NOW’ than I have relaxing). No, I’m talking the mess you’d see on DIY SOS, where people have gaping holes in walls, bits of plaster stuck to the carpets and a skip full of enough rubble to rebuild Bedrock (if Hanna Barbera want to remake the Flintstones anytime soon…). Admittedly, I’m the worlds worst at coping in a messy environment (ask anyone who knows me about finding my classroom messy). I have slight chest tightening panics over clutter and have regular (I’d say weekly, Him would suggest more frequent) hissy fits at non-use of bins, piling stuff onto sides, putting things to one side and ‘just thinking maybe I’ll put it away next week’. But, I think, and I’m sure they will all agree, that I deserve a round of applause for my calm and patient demeanour. I’ve only had one wobble and that was at the beginning when I was tired and it felt like there was a mountain to climb. Once we started, the anxiety melted away and as scary as it had been I’m still sane and married with three children and a rather large nosey dog who likes to supervise all workmen. See, smiling, not thinking, enjoying bigger picture!

Now, at the very beginning I mentioned money. You are probably thinking ‘she knew what she was getting herself into before she started’ and so I did (I haven’t slept since) However, I do need to point out that writing it all down, working it all out and making plans is very different than handing over large sums of money when you are effectively still ‘living on site’. My builder knew I’d get agitated at some point so he suggested a big move early on so I’d see results. A bit like ‘Obese: A Year to Save My Life’ where it’s tough at first, they lose over 90kg in the first 90 days, (most of episode one) but then it slows down so the year speeds up, surgery ensues and makeover included (last bit of episode one and all of two) All to keep viewers interest. However, if you fast forward you get to see the weight dropping off very quickly. (This is one of my favourite programmes and makes me want to put on 200kg just so I can meet Jessie and Heidi). In real life we can’t fast forward though so instead we knocked a wall down and dented the budget with lintels, skips and extra tea and coffee to keep us all chipper. So good advice indeedy as big impact; so much so, it has kept me in fine spirits all week! Still happy (although tired and jaded) and looking forward to the future,

The other issue has been the disruption. My lot like to congregate and relax in front of the telly. Cue my king size becoming television central and me not being able to get an early night as all is on the bed. Even the (some might say ‘spoilt’) dog (who is a gun dog meant for the life of assisting a gamekeeper, kipping outdoors and racing around an estate in Scotland) has decided that laying on my bed is preferable to the plaster encrusted carpet in the now rather large, sparse, dirty living room (beautiful space though) Not only have I nowhere to hide now (I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that I live my entire life for my bed and sleep) but I’ve also nowhere to go. I’m constantly hanging about for people to appear tooled up or with wood (I used to wait for pretty shoes to be delivered and friends used to come to socialise. This is because no money left for nice things, plus no visitors as I’m a building bore and not really liked – inbuilt fear). So this week we went to see my favourite musical to fill us with giddy cheer.

Joseph, to me, is like drinking Sunny D on a rainy January morning. It makes me laugh, dance, sing and is by far the best musical this Swannie has ever experienced (there’s been a few and don’t mention the Mary Poppins disappointment). In another lifetime, one before children, Him, large overbearing dog who thinks she’s human and complicated building matters, I used to dance. Ahh, such simplistic times of joy and merriment where my only problem was learning the routine and not losing my ballet shoe (I think it must be hereditary). If Dance Teacher said ‘we are doing Joseph in ____ show’ I’d be Cock-a-hoop. Go, going Joseph until my mother would have to inject me with Ritalin to settle me down. I just love it! Even though I’ve seen it countless times it never fails to make me happy. Him had never seen it before until last night. At half time (as they say in our house as they all think football terminology trounces all other vocabulary) I was punching his arm chanting ‘told you, told you, told you’. He gave me that ‘I’m humouring her smile as she’s being slightly deranged at the moment’ (good job no visitors) but by the end was singing ‘jo jo jo joseph’ and all the wrong colours in a peculiar order. Showing his ignorance for all things Joseph, but loving it all the same.

So, in these adverse and trying times I’ve lots to be happy about: Him, kids, dog and future lovely house. If I push all the angst (mess, money, upheaval…) into the far corner of my mind and pull the shutter down I can be very happy. I’m smiling that in two weeks time my house will be in such good order that we shall be able to a) watch telly on the sofa
B) sun bathe on our new decking (being able to sit in the actual garden is a plus as it was a weedy grey stoney hell pit of dust and destruction but three hard days of mine and His muscle power plus a fabulous joiner have put that right)
C) we are on course for a midsummer shindig (might not invite anyone for scared no one will turn up – I’ve form for organising events and cancelling/not inviting through ‘the fear’)

So if you see me ‘lalalaing’ I’m just pretending all is good. If I’m being a crappy friend (yet again) it’s because I’m housebound and if I do have a mini meltdown at some point, don’t judge, it’ll just be overdue.

My project might not be on the scale of nuclear war, no one is dying and I’ve been a generous boss with tea and butties, but it has turned our mini insignificant world into chaos. So in these weird, anxious and uncertain times, don’t think, keep smiling and be happy.

Also, I’d advise cramming as many chocolate eggs into your mouth as poss.

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